Attraction of the leading scientists to Russian institutions of higher learning, research organizations of the governmental academies of sciences, and governmental research centers of the Russian Federation

Laboratory of Comparative Social Research

About the laboratry

This laboratory was established as part of a scientific research project supported with a monetary grant awarded by the Government of the Russian Federation under a grant competition designed to provide governmental support to scientific research projects implemented under the supervision of the world's leading scientists at Russian institutions of higher learning, research institutions of the governmental academies of sciences and governmental research centers of the Russian Federation (Resolution of the RF Government No.220 of April 9, 2010).

Link to official website

Grant Agreement No.: 11.G34.31.0024

Host institution of higher learning: St. Petersburg subsidiary of the National Research University "Higher School of Economics"

Scientific research area:
Economics, international research, sociology

The project primarily focuses on the problems of subjective prosperity and the level of happiness, problems of migration and social attitude towards migrants, problems of nationalism and ethnic conflicts.
LCSR performs three primary functions:

• It conduct fundamental scientific research in the most relevant problems of contemporary society thereby facilitating the development of quantitative comparative sociology in Russia and designing recommendations for social policies (at present, the laboratory is implementing more than 40 English-language individual and group projects whose outcomes will be analyzed in articles published in foreign peer review journals);

• The laboratory researches population in the RF regions and CIS member-states thereby filling the gaps in the lack of data on the subjects under investigation (for example, the laboratory has already completed population surveys as part of the most recent round of the Global Values Research in eight CIS member-states, including Russia, and in three RF regions);

• The laboratory trains young researchers by engaging undergraduate and graduate students and young candidates of sciences from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other RF regions in its research projects and activities; by teaching new social analysis methods to researchers and specialists thereby reviving comparative quantitative sociology in Russia; and by contributing significantly to the ongoing training of researchers and specialists by providing them with opportunities to undergo short-term internships in Russia and abroad.

About the LCSR research progress:
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, subjective prosperity of the Russian population dropped to the lowest level in all the time of observations. Subjective prosperity of Russian citizens is showing a tendency to restore itself to the former level as part of a wider scope of social changes. The decline of subjective prosperity of the population in Russia reflected not only an economic recession, but it also reflected a collapse of the system of beliefs that for many people represented the purpose and sense of living. This system of beliefs started disintegrating in 1982 and completely failed in 1990. The economic revival initiated in 2000 has made a positive effect on the sense of prosperity; the revival of religion and restoration of the sense of national pride also helped fill the ideological vacuum that set in following the failure of the Marxist ideology. The Global Values Research* data show that the growth of religious sentiments in Russia and other post-communist countries has been the most significant in the world in those years. Religion facilitates the growth of social prosperity almost as much as economic well-being.

Leading scientist

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Leading scientist's full name: Engelhart, Ronald Franklin

Link to leading scientist's profile

Academic degree:

Job titles:
Professor or political science at the University of Michigan; President of the "Global Values" Association.

Field of scientific interests:
1. Global political, social, and cultural changes.
2. Interconnection between the values and beliefs of large groups of people and availability and lack of democratic institutions in their countries of residence.
3. The impact of cultural transformations in industrial societies upon self-expression, sexual and religious norms, motivation, independence, and politics.

Key scientific achievements:
The leading scientist is the founder of the post-materialism theory and is a co-founder of the "Euro-Barometer" project.
He is an author of more than 225 scientific articles and monographs translated into many languages of the world. Those include, for example, the following:
- "Modernization, cultural changes and democracy" (Cambridge University Press, 2005);
- "Modernization and post-modernization: cultural, economic, and political changes in 43 societies" (Princeton University Press, 1997);
- "Cultural shift in developed industrial society" (Princeton University Press, 1990).

Scientific recognition:
He is a member of the editorial boards of eight scientific journals, including the following:
- "International Journal of Public Opinion Research" (since 1987);
- "Government and Opposition" (since 1988);
- "Politics and the Individual" (since 1992);
- "Partisan Politics" (since 1994);
- "Journal of Social Capital" (since 2005).

Awards and distinctions:
- Honorary doctor of sciences diploma from the University of Uppsala, Sweden (2006);
- Member of American Academy of Sciences diploma, USA (2007);
- First Hodkinson Prize recipient, USA (2008)
- Honorary doctor of sciences diploma from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium (2010).
Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Member of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences.

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